There's a couple of motivating factors for DryBox moving toward a self-service offering. For starters, people are reluctant to hand over their mobile device to a stranger, even one capable of staving off water damage. "For the most part, people want to have control over their device," Naumann said. "They don't want to let it out of their sight." Self-service units also figure to cost less. Using one of DryBox's manual offerings can cost between $30 and $60. (The going rate for Caitlin to dry out an iPhone 4s in New York was $50, for example.) A self-service unit would bring down that cost.
The self-service units will also be able to accomodate a wider range of devices. The manual unit currently dries out only phones, Naumann said, up to and including devices the size of Samsung's Galaxy Note III. "On the automated self-service unit, we can accomodate devices up to and including the size of an iPad Air," he added.
While it works on expanding its service, DryBox can point to its track record in restoring phones that might otherwise be lost to the watery deep. "We have not had one case where [a phone was] successful in DryBox, but then an issue came up down the line," Naumann said. And that includes users who've made a return trip to DryBox after accidentally re-introducing their phones to liquid. "Maybe we should have a frequent drier program," Naumann said.
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